Is An Accounting Degree More Valuable than a Finance Degree?

Both the degrees might sound similar but there are a few variations between them. It is a tough nut to crack which one is more valuable- It depends on your career goals and interests. Continue reading to know more about it.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 29th April 2020

It is common for a student to have confusion regarding which one is more effective and valuable among an accounting degree and finance degree. 

Though both the degrees are almost similar, there are a few minor variations between them. But it is a tough nut to crack which one is more valuable- It depends on your career goals and interests.

The fundamental and basic difference between an accounting vs a finance degree is that accounting has a comparatively narrow focus, while finance is widely focused, including a collection of specializations in the world of business economics.

Here is an article that gives you every detail regarding these degrees and helps you know which is suitable for you based on your interest.

An Overview of Accounting Degree

  • An accounting degree is a type of educational degree given to students who have completed an accounting training program at a college, university, or business school. 

  • Careers involve analyzing and utilizing financial information in order to evaluate a business’s financial position.

  • Accounting is the study of financial reporting and analysis. The courses involved in this degree are a combination of business, accounting, and general education courses. 

An Overview of Finance Degree

  • A finance degree is a type of educational degree given to students who have completed a formal degree program at a college related to finance. 

  • Finance is specifically a field that entails the management, manipulation, and shifting of money.

  • Finance degree course involves a wide variety of topics such as accounting, economics, risk management, financial analysis, statistics, and taxation. 

Is An Accounting Degree More Valuable than a Finance Degree?

Truth to be told, both are approximately equally valuable since the amount of effort required to obtain good careers in accounting and finance is nearly comparable. 

It mostly depends on your areas of interest and both these degrees have certain similar subjects as well. 

It can be clearly explained by differentiating between them in every aspect possible and so let us start.

Types of Degree Available

The most common degrees earned by accounting majors are as follows.

  • Associates Degree (2 years)

  • Bachelor’s Degree (3 to 4 years)

  • Masters Degree (2 years)

The most common degrees earned by finance majors are as follows.

  • Associates Degree (2 years or less)

  • Bachelor’s Degree (3 to 4 years)

  • Masters Degree (less than 2 years)

  • Doctorate Degree (4 to 6 years)

Course Contents

Contents involved in an accounting degree are as follows.

Budget analysis

Financial reporting

Information systems

Forensic accounting

Professional standards and ethics

Risk management

Auditing

Financial accounting

Management accounting

International accounting

Quantitative analysis

Tax accounting

Macro/microeconomics

Business strategy

Contents involved in a finance degree are as follows.

Corporate finance

Financial mathematics

Financial planning

International finance

Advanced derivatives

Asset markets

Financial accounting

Financial reporting

Venture capital

Financial markets

Financial management

Private equity

Risk management

Financial engineering

Skill and Concept Training

The skills and concepts on which students are trained in an accounting degree are as follows.

  • Quantitative skill.

  • Knowledge of accounting control issues.

  • Specific knowledge of various accounting topics and techniques.

  • Awareness of generally accepted accounting principles.

  • Solid understanding of the business industry.

The skills and concepts on which students are trained in a finance degree are as follows.

  • Understanding of industry practices and principles

  • Strong theoretical knowledge

  • Research skills

  • Communication skills

  • Knowledge of the stock market, trade, and investment

  • Analytical skills

Career Opportunities

There are a wide variety of job opportunities that await many graduates from both accounting and finance degree programs. The employment rate of these degree holders is increasing every year.

A few job roles associated with an accounting degree are as follows.

Accountant

Budget Analyst

Auditor

Financial Consultant

Payroll Administrator

Financial Examiner

Risk Assessor

Actuary

Tax Advisor

Forensic Accountant

Treasurer

Credit Controller

A few job roles associated with a finance degree are as follows.

Commercial Banker

Insurance Officer

Hedge Fund Manager

Quant Specialist

Financial Manager

Financial Trader

Investment Banker

Financial Consultant

Earning Potential

For Accounting Degree Holder:

  • The average starting salary in the US for undergraduate accounting graduates is $57,511.

  • The average post-graduate starting salary in the US is $69,605.

For Finance Degree Holder:

  • The average starting salary in the US for finance majors is $58,464.

  • The average post-graduate starting salary in the US is $74,201.

What are the educational requirements to join an Accounting and finance degree?

Undergraduate Level

  • To study accounting or finance at the undergraduate level, you will have to prove your mathematical and statistical knowledge, along with your interest in the accounting and finance areas. 

  • It is done with the requirements associated with STEM and FAME subjects such as business, mathematics, economics, and other sciences and technologies. 

  • Extracurricular activities can also be taken into count.

Postgraduate Level

  • If you are joining a postgraduate accounting or finance program, you will have to accomplish a related undergraduate program and a number of years of work experience. 

  • Students who cleared GMAT or GRE exams will also be qualified for these degrees. 

Conclusion

Is An Accounting Degree More Valuable than a Finance Degree? The answer to this question is- “it depends on your interest and your career goal”. Here are a few takeaway points that are helpful.

  • There are certain course subjects that are common for both degrees.

  • There is a wide variety of job opportunities and it is observed that there is an increasing employment rate for both the degrees.

  • The job duties, responsibilities, and skills to it are a little different for accounting and finance professionals. 

  • There is a small variation in salary for most of the accounting and finance entry-level jobs.